One of my New Years resolutions this year was to travel loads, I had trips planned in my mind to Greece, Switzerland, Rome, London and Bali (read about it here), one of them I actually already accomplished in real life! If it was up to me, I’d travel to a different place at least once each month, but obviously I don’t own a cash cow, so it’s really important for me to keep my budget in control. Therefore, in the meantime I’ve become very good at going places on a budget, so I thought I’d share some tips and tricks I’ve learned on the way!
Who doesn’t love a great Ryanair experience, hey? To be honest though, budget airlines are the way to get around – on short flights, as well as long ones! For me living really close to third biggest airport in Europe, meaning Frankfurt, it’s quite easy to get around the good old continent in less than 100€ return. Until this day, I’ve never had any issues with budget airlines, so for me there is certainly no reason to be scared to use them. We even booked parts of our long-distance flights to Bali with Air Asia, which is one of many budget airlines in South East Asia, and everything worked out perfectly. Taking this little stopover and switching to a cheaper airline, saved us more than 200€ per person, which is actually AH-MAZING! To me personally layovers aren’t annoying, I rather take the opportunity to spend some time in another foreign country and try some of their food, even if it’s just at the airport. I mean, obviously it’s not a luxurious experience, the seats aren’t very comfortable or spacious and the food isn’t included in the flight price, but it’s definitely worth if you’re saving that much money!
Your best bet, especially for long flights, is to use Skyscanner, which certainly provides you with cheap and quick flight options. However, it’s always a good idea to check all of the airlines websites individually as they might have special offers on. Also, timing is very important. Usually flights on a midweek day are much cheaper than if you’re looking for flights on the weekend, so it’s advisable to check different dates if you’re flexible enough. If you’re a spontaneous one, there are websites like Urlaubsguru that basically do the big old search for you and offer really cheap travel options. Mostly, however, you must be able to adapt on their schedule, so it’s not advisable for people with jobs or any other obligations.
Accommodation is a really tricky topic. I’m not much of a camping or hostel kinda girl (anymore) and I do enjoy a nice and luxurious hotel bed.
A great way to explore countries, especially cities, is to use airbnb. If you haven’t heard from it yet, you might have been living under a rock. airbnb is a website where people can rent out their own apartment to others, usually their apartments are really fancy, but naturally there are some black sheep around, too. So if you’re planning on using airbnb, make sure to check the comments and ratings of other people’s places (definitely check the box that says ‘entire apartment’, too). Also, make sure the apartment exists in real life, a friend of mine booked an apartment in London with airbnb which when he arrived turned out to be a put-on.
I love to check ratings on tripadvisor as well, and if you’re really lucky, you can find some amazing gems! When we were looking for a hotel in Bali, we discovered this excellent looking hotel in Seminyak, it was still in its soft-opening phase, but it already had great ratings. So we gave it a try, paid 40€ for a room a night and were amazed by its beauty and luxury! Such a bargain!
When I travel, I never take cabs, well except the odd once or twice. I love to walk around and discover the country by foot. This can sometimes lead to hour-long beach walks or walking up and down Manhattan until my feet are literally bleeding, but it’s so much fun! Public transport, except for its reputation, is really easy to use when you’re away, as well. It’s a good idea, if you get your hands on a subway map as quick as you can, so you know your way around. If you get confused, don’t be shy and ask for directions from your receptionist, station staff or even random strangers on the streets. Oh, and Google Maps is your friend!
Eating & Drinking
Before any trips, I love to check Instagram for any local food bloggers which is usually a great idea as they know the best spots! Definitely hook me up if you’re around the Frankfurt area (@deartoheart). Most of the time, those bloggers are really helpful and will answer all of your questions. If you’re feeling particularly rude, you can ask them everyday for a new suggestion (sorry again, Epicurina, we love you!). I also love to snoop around the local supermarkets to discover some hidden gems. Somehow, foreign supermarkets are especially exciting to me, I mean, I love food shopping at home too, but abroad it’s just pure obsession.
What are your travel tips and tricks? Have I missed anything important? Let me know ♥